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Ensemble Modern

Plays Frank Zappa


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Frank Zappa & Ensemble Modern - The Yellow Shark Rehearsals
Interview Dietmar Wiesner - Ensemble Modern Dozent / Ensemble Modern Tutor
Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto & Ensemble Modern - UTP
Checkpoint Ensemble Modern & Hidejiro Honjoh
Tour George Benjamin
1 Moggio  
2 What Will Rumi Do?  
3 Night School  
4 Revised Music For Low Budget Orchestra  
5 The Beltway Bandits  
6 A Pig With Wings  
7 Put A Motor In Yourself  
8 Peaches En Regalia  
9 Naval Aviation In Art?  
10 The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary  
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 As much as I love "The Yellow Shark," so had I anticipated more of FZ's music from the Ensemble Modern. "Everything Is Healing Nicely" is excellent, but only whetted my appetite more. When I was informed of this offering, I leaped at the chance to gain possession. Sadly, I am not quite leaping for joy afer hearing it.

As always, the musicianship is superb. I believe the Ensemble Modern to be among the finest groups of musicians on the planet today. I also believe there is something missing on this particular release. I thought perhaps it was merely a difference between conductors, Jonathan Stockhammer on the current recording and Peter Rundel on "The Yellow Shark," but it's more than that. Perhaps it is because "Shark" is a live recording, I thought, but comparing "Healing Nicely" with this release puts that theory to bed. Then, after several intent listenings, I realized what was missing was the "eyebrows."

Perhaps only Frank himself is qualified to address that most essential aspect of Zappa's music. Perhaps we are fated to eyebrowless renditions of FZ's music for eternity. Perhaps I am wrong. I am sure that after the death of many great composers nit-pickers like myself ranted about how it will never be the same, the right attitude is missing, blah, blah, blah.

I am suddenly reminded of one of the first lessons about art I learned: Never listen to what as***les like me have to say about it. Buy it, listen to it, make up your own mind.

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